Competition: Major League Soccer – New England Revolution vs. New York City FC
Venue: Gillette Stadium – Saturday, July 18 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST – Live on Sky Sports 5)
Match Odds: New England Revolution 19/20 – Draw 13/5 – New York City FC 13/5
The Revs are in a torrid run of form that needs to end quickly. No wins in their last five matches in MLS have given the rest of the conference a boost in climbing the table and has seen last year’s MLS Cup runners-up fall to sixth place, seeing the likes of Columbus Crew, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC overtake them.
The 4-1 loss at Red Bull Arena last weekend condemned the Revs to the unwanted statistic of becoming the first side in MLS to lose five times on the bounce this season.
That aside, they are still in the playoff mix but only just. They need to end that horrible run of form and get the win on Saturday to give them confidence as they head to Chicago Fire next week, having only won twice on the road this term. A win this time round is a must.
Despite an agonisingly slow start for New York City FC, the MLS Expansion Franchise have now starting picking up points steadily and are in and out of the playoff places in the Eastern.
The signing of Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo and the eagerly awaited debut of Frank Lampard will bring confidence, leaders and a winning mentality to the club – something Jason Kreis will welcome with open arms.
They were very unfortunate in last week’s 4-4 draw at home to Toronto FC. They did well to come from 3-2 down at half time, with Jason Kreis rallying his troops to earn a point but their defending was woeful and they must improve at the back this week.
The reverse fixture saw New York City FC win 2-0 in their home opener at Yankee Stadium in March, with goals from David Villa and Patrick Mullins settling it, in what was NYCFC’s first ever victory in MLS.
New England look set to be without DP Jermaine Jones, Darrius Barnes and also Kevin Alston, though Jones could feature.
New York City FC will be without George John, Ryan Meara and Tony Taylor. Connor Brandt, Javier Calle, Khiry Shelton, Sebastian Velasquez and Jason Hernandez are all doubtful, while Mix Diskerud is away with the USMNT. Frank Lampard will have to wait another week for his debut as he is ruled out of this one.
New England Revolution’s last five in MLS: L/L/L/L/L
New York City FC’s last five in MLS: W/W/L/W/D
Key Stat: Three of New York City’s last four wins have been away from home.
Key Player: David Villa – You can’t bet against the NYCFC captain. Villa has been in excellent form and excelling in his striking role. He scored two last weekend and is now on ten goals in MLS. He will only get more when Lampard and Pirlo feature but until then, expect him to continue delivering.
New England Revolution 0-2 New York City FC – New England Revolution are in a real mess. Jermaine Jones’ absence is affecting them greatly. His signing this time last year galvanised the MLS Cup runners-up but they are really not in a good place right now. New York City look good going forward and look the likelier of the two to score. Away win.